Greenland Ice Sheet apparently gains mass for the 2nd year in a row

Long-time WUWT reader Dave Burton writes:

I’ve seen no official pronouncement from DMI, but here are their graphs for Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) surface mass balance (SMB), for the 2016-2017 glaciological year (Sept. 1 – Aug. 31), and for the 2017-2018 glaciological year. That’s the ice sheet mass balance before accounting for ice lost through glacier calving & submarine melting. (The fonts look a bit oddly stretched, because the two original graphs on the DMI site are scaled differently, and I resized them with IrfanView so that the two graphs would be the same size.)

Greenland ice mass balance for years 2016 and 2017 in Gigatons (Gt)

DMI’s report on the 2016-2017 glaciological year says that,

“Greenland on average loses around 500 Gt of ice each year from calving and submarine melt processes. If we subtract this from our figure of 544 Gt for the SMB it would suggest Greenland gained a small amount of ice this year.”

From eyeballing the graph, it appears that the GIS ended this glaciological year (2017 – 2018) with a SMB of about +520 Gt. Subtracting 500 Gt for iceberg calving and submarine melt suggests a very small gain of about +20 Gt of ice.

That’s completely negligible with regards to global sea-level, since it takes 362 Gt of meltwater to raise the oceans by 1 millimeter. But if it were a loss of 20 Gt I’ll bet the press would report it as “22 cubic km of ice,” or “more than five cubic miles of ice,” or perhaps, “more than 8400 times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza.”




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September 24, 2018 7:35 pm

Let’s see…. Greenland gaining, Arctic gaining … what’s the problem again?

Reply to  m
September 25, 2018 8:03 am

People’s grants “studying” climate change are threatened.

Original Mike M
Reply to  m
September 25, 2018 9:34 am
Reply to  m
September 25, 2018 11:07 am

(in late on this so I’m picking the most recent thread)

I’m confused. The title of the article is “Greenland Ice Apparently Gains Mass …” However, the graphs do not indicate an increase in mass (and increase over the summer would indeed be big news!). Rather, they show a lesser seasonal _decrease_ in mass.

what am I missing?

Pop Piasa
September 24, 2018 7:35 pm

This is something the MSM will “keep under their hats”.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 24, 2018 7:46 pm

The group think is so thick, they don’t even need to send out the note to staff to not cover the news.

All, in the wash.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  garyh845
September 24, 2018 8:11 pm

It’s not just a wash, it’s an autoclave.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 1:09 pm

Or lie about.

“Visiting Antarctica, you expect to see icy, white landscapes,” said lead scientist Prof Sharon Robinson from the University of Wollongong, in Australia. “But in some areas there are lush, green moss beds that emerge from under the snow for a growing period of maybe six weeks.”

While West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula are some of the fastest warming places of the planet, East Antarctica has not yet experienced much climate warming, so the scientists did not expect to see much change in the vegetation there.

“But we were really surprised when we saw how fast it was changing,” Prof Robinson said.

Reply to  Gary Ashe
September 25, 2018 1:24 pm

accusations of lies require more than “and lie about it” statements. so I assume you must be an experienced Antarctic scientist.

the article in today’s Wash Post noted that the scientists who noted the rapid increase in sea temps have been collecting data for 30 years. What were the conditions when you visited this year? was your visit at the beginning, middle, or end of the summer? did your data collection also incorporate data from the newish bouys?

no attack intended. Just want to know how scientists in your team come to such a diametrically opposed conclusion from those who have been collecting data from this part of the world for decades.

Javert Chip
September 24, 2018 7:39 pm

Honest questions:

o How accurate are these graphs & who safe-keeps the numbers (no more ad-hoc adjustments)?
o How doe we measure “submarine melt & calving”?
o Are we talking “real numbers” or model numbers?

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Javert Chip
September 24, 2018 8:29 pm

The Danish Meteorological Institute is the source of the report, which is the output of their model which factors in precipitation, surface temps, surface melt, refreze characteristics and runoff. They, and they alone are responsible for it. Consult their site (
for their methodology, and for how they determine losses from calving.

Bill Treuren
Reply to  Javert Chip
September 24, 2018 10:32 pm

Why would the very round 500Gt/Yr melt not be significantly less in an environment of increased accumulation.
The two processes should be linked at some level and the temperatures up there have been very cool over the last year or two.

Richard M
Reply to  Bill Treuren
September 25, 2018 12:42 am

Exactly, their own charts shows an average SMB of less than 400 GT. How can the average calving be significantly higher at 500 GT? Greenland would have no ice.

Reply to  Richard M
September 25, 2018 1:07 am

The Greenland Ice Sheet contains about 2.6 million Gt of ice. So if it were to lose 200 Gt per year, every year, it would be over 14,000 years before it “would have no ice.”

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 1:08 am

Oops, over 13,000 years. Sorry.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 6:08 am

See Dave? It’s worse than you thought!

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 8:00 am

Think of the children’s children’s children’s…

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 9:25 am

They won’t have to drive as far to get to the beach.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 26, 2018 11:59 am

Yep. That goes without saying, John. It’s always Worse Than We Thought.™

Reply to  Javert Chip
September 25, 2018 9:24 am

If it’s getting hot enough to melt submarines, we are in a lot of trouble.

John Tillman
September 24, 2018 7:41 pm

Just imagine how many Hiroshimas of man-made global warming it would take to melt bits of the Greenland Ice Sheet. If it were to melt.

And how many Olympic swimming pools of water would be added to the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans as a result.

Mind boggling numbers.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  John Tillman
September 24, 2018 7:57 pm

John, I calculated from the meter readings that a busted 4″ water pipe released an olympic pool worth of water out of one of my mechanical rooms onto my campus grounds before the guard caught it during Christmas break back in 2009. The detention ponds around the parking lots caught it all. It really wasn’t that much water to get rid of.

John Tillman
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 24, 2018 8:00 pm

OK, then the ice sheet meltwater unit could be the Aral Sea, before it was sucked dry for irrigation and other uses.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  John Tillman
September 24, 2018 8:16 pm

Okay, That’s perspective! Great catch.

HD Hoese
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 7:12 am

As to the Mississippi River— “… small relative to the entire Gulf …, ocean currents off its mouth can be compared with currents in a large tank off a very small rubber hose.” From—

Scruton, P. C. 1956. Oceanography of Mississippi delta sedimentary environments. Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. 40(12):2864-2952.

River offing looks big until you get farther out in the Gulf. Didn’t get discovered (for cartography) until late 1600s.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 5:05 am

Since 1900, the GrIS has supposedly lost the equivalent of a Lake Superior-sized ice cube. However the GrIs remained larger than the Gulf of Mexico (by volume) despite losing a Lake Superior. The Gulf of Mexico has a volume of about 2.5 million km3. If the GrIS melted, the volume of water would be about 2.71 million km3. Before losing Lake Superior, the water volume was 2.72 million km3.

Large numbers get smaller when compared to FRACKING YUGE numbers.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 8:56 am

Evidence from the last interglacial, when much of Greenland’s ice melted, shows that temperature was a few degrees above that of today for ~10 kyr and above today’s temperature for ~2 kyr before sea level then rose above today’s.

John Tillman
Reply to  donb
September 25, 2018 1:41 pm


An IMHO credible estimate for the Eemian was that about a quarter more of the Southern Dome melted in that interglacial than so far in the Holocene. But, as you note, the Eemian was hotter than now, and it lasted thousands of years longer than the Holocene to date.

During the Eemian, hippos swam in the Thames at the site of London. Now we have beluga whales in the same river.

Pop Piasa
September 24, 2018 7:46 pm

Dave, there are two free software products that I push anytime the subject is raised, Irfanview and Audacity. One is perfect for pictures and the other for audio. The authors are truly philanthropic.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 3:54 am

Irfanview – interesting name. There is an annul academic conference held outside Rome called the Irfan Colloquium. Any connection?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
September 25, 2018 7:24 am

Crispin, The author’s name is Irfan Skiljan, graduate of Vienna Institute of Technology. His photo viewer-editor is the fastest and easiest, most intuitive freeware I know of. Even uses photoshop plug-ins. I highly recommend it.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 1:23 pm

‎Irfan Skiljan is Bosnian. So there’s probably no connection to an event in Rome.

He is a superb programmer. One thing that impresses me is that the IrfanView executable is only about 1 MB in size — it would fit on a floppy disc! There’s a collection of plugins that add another 20 MB, which is still nothing by today’s standards.

It turns out that true craftsmanship is not dead, after all.

One problem: IrfanView is available for Windows, only.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 7:00 pm

Not a problem if you have a partition running Windows 10 on your Mac’s hard drive. It is very easy to set up and switch back and forth.

Bob Bunnell
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 4:17 am

Audacity is great! Granddaughter uses it to make her own floor music for gymnastics. Made several for teammates also..

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Pop Piasa
September 25, 2018 8:40 am

Audacity is taught at the local blind school for use in home recording. Apparently it is friendly to one or more of the screen readers and thus easy for them to use.

Joel O'Bryan
September 24, 2018 7:47 pm

Imperceptible at first for a few centuries….
This is how Ice Ages begin.

September 24, 2018 8:17 pm

The full DMI weasel words were that it was probably negative.

“Since at least 2002, the total mass budget has been substantially negative (on average from 2002 onwards it has lost -200 to -300 Gt per year). This year, thanks partly to ex-hurricane Nicole’s snow and partly to the relatively low amounts of melt in the summer, we estimate the total mass budget to be close to zero and possibly even positive.”

There was some funny interaction DMI/Heller a year ago, I might look up the quotes

Steven Fraser
Reply to  angech
September 24, 2018 8:36 pm

They changed the baseline mid-year last year as well.

As far as I know, they only publish the result in graphical form, unlike their Arctic Sea Ice Volume, which is available numerically, in a single file, for all the modeled days since Jan 2, 2003.

September 24, 2018 8:36 pm

“… more than 8400 times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza”.
By my rough calculations that’s four Sydney Harbours, the standard cognitive distorting unit of volume in Australia.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  manalive
September 24, 2018 9:06 pm

Here’s one you might like, with an Australian spin…

the DMI Arctic sea ice volume yesterday was reported as 6,962 cu km, or 6.962 billion cu m if you like it better.

The ‘Outback’ of Australia is estimated to be a bit more than 2,500,000 sq mi, which (at 2.58999 sq km/sq mi) is ~6,500,000 sq km. (six million,500 thousand)

So, if you spread yesterday’s volume of Arctic Sea ice over the entire Outback, it would cover it to a depth of a little less than 1.1 metre.

I propose a new unit of Arctic sea Ice volume… the Outback-metre, or simply, ‘Outbacks’.

Whatcha think?

(If my math is wrong, feel free to correct it)

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Steven Fraser
September 24, 2018 9:58 pm

This whole sea level rise threat is such a farce anyway. Even if all 200000 glaciers in the world melted the sea level rise would only be 400mm. That is less than 16 inches. Antarctica will never melt; even if global average temperatures go up 4C; because almost all of the continent is way below freezing even in the Antarctic summer. Since the Arctic ice sits on the ocean; sea level would only rise by about 20mm (because most of that ice is salty) if the whole Arctic melted. What is left to melt? Greenland. Okay Consider this. So even if the CAGW alarmists are right and the temp rises to 4C over today, how much of Greenland would melt? Well in the vast interior of Greenland only the very top of the ice melts in the summertime. Even the IPCC has stated that a 3C global rise in temperature over the next 80 years would only result in a 1 metre rise in sea level. I dispute that because the vast majority of Greenland’s ice sheet never even comes close to reaching 0C. It would take a much larger increase of temperature to melt it. Everybody just seems to take the alarmist view on this without looking at the actual size of ice that would have to melt. Recently an engineer calculated that it would take 105000 years to melt the Antarctica even if you had all the energy of the world running blowtorches melting the ice. Greenland is not nearly as big but to try and melt even a thousandth of Greenland even if you had access to industrial melters on every last inch of the Greenland interior, would be a futile task. Greenland has 2,850,000 km3 of ice.
All of it would have to melt to raise sea level by 7 metres. This is just not going to happen especially even with a 4C average global temperature rise which is at the high catastrophic range of IPCC predictions. You just cannot melt that large a block of ice with air temperatures 4C higher . This is because you are dealing with averages here. The summit which is 2 miles above sea level in the interior has an air temperature range of -26C in winter to 0C in summer. Summer in this part of Greenland is only 2 months long. Temperatures in the other 10 months of the year are below
-10 C. So 2 months of summer is just not enough time to melt an appreciable amount of ice. Increasing the average global temperature by 4C will not make the interior go above freezing because of the elevation.
Additionally, the weight of the Greenland ice has depressed the interior of the continent and disrupted any drainage that existed prior to being covered in ice. If the ice should be completely melted, a significant fraction of the water won’t make it to the oceans until isostatic rebound removes the ‘bowl.’ The bottom line is that theoretical calculations converting the ice volume of Greenland to an increase in ocean level overstates the immediate effect.

I would also like to draw your attention to this graph

It shows the alltime record summer temp for Summit station in inland Greenland. Notice that it barely got above 0C. Since summers are only 2 months long here how in the hell is Greenland supposed to melt any appreciable amount even if global temps went up 4C. The summit is 2 miles high and the mean thickness of the ice in all of Greenland is 2135 metres or 7000 ft. Since this total of ice is 2850000 km3 , how would this melt in 2 months? It wouldn’t. fall and winter would come and the ice would refreeze. Spring would come again and as you see on the graph there wouldn’t be any melting in the spring even if global world temperatures soared above an increase of 4C. Sure Greenland has been losing ice mass over last 20 years but this has happened thousands of times in the past. There was less ice at the end of the 1930s in Greenland than there is today. A new study by Niesen et al.,2018 shows that 8000 years ago was 2-3 C warmer than today with peaks as high as 5C higher and the greenland ice mass diminished only 20% in 3000 years at those increased temperatures. See below for the reason.

To further cement this hypothesis of Greenland ice sheet not melting from of top, there have been studies that the melting is happening from underneath because of a volcanic ridge extending from Iceland right to the Arctic. Even the alarmist scientists are admitting that the top of Greenlands interior ice sheet is not melting and that the upper surface every year gets fresh snow/ice and the reason that there is a net loss of ice is the amount of icebergs calving off on the shore line. These icebergs have calved off for millions of years and the volcanic activity has come and gone for millions of years.The alarmists will argue that the calving of the icebergs on the coast of Greenland is increasing with global warming.
However, that demonstrates a lack of understanding of just how calving works. Calving is a breakup of ice shelfs at the coast caused by pressure from the ice sheets as the ice is forced to the sea. Calving is just as likely to happen when it is cold or warm. Calving has been going on ever since Greenland formed ice sheets.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
September 25, 2018 12:55 am

Plus a warmer world is more humid, and that means more snow falling over the interiors of both icecaps.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
September 25, 2018 7:09 am

Think of it this way: If the GrIS melted entirely, all the water that stays in the “bowl” would make a dandy reservoir for pumped hydro storage. Finally! Sufficient grid-level storage so the whole world can convert to renewable power! And think of all the green jobs such a project would create.

/sarc, if you really need it.

Reply to  Steven Fraser
September 24, 2018 10:15 pm

Steven Fraser wrote, “…as 6,962 cu km, or 6.962 billion cu m if you like it better…”

That’s the British definition of “billion” which is ×10¹² (10^12) or “million million”.

The U.S. definition of “billion” is ×10⁹ (10^9) or “thousand million.”

That ambiguity is why “billion” is a Bad Word. It might be a good idea to put the word “billion” on the “banned toxic words list” along with the F-bomb and “Döug Cöttön.” If someone really, really needs to use it they could obfuscate the spelling, like “billiön.”

Stephen Stent
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 24, 2018 10:50 pm
In British English, a billion used to be equivalent to a million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000), while in American English it has always equated to a thousand million (i.e. 1,000,000,000). … Nowadays, it’s generally held to be equivalent to a million million (1,000,000,000,000), as it is in American English.

Stephen Stent
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 24, 2018 10:52 pm

This was cut and paste. Pity whoever typed it got it wrong!

John Tillman
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 24, 2018 10:52 pm


A billion in American English is a thousand million.

Stephen Stent
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 25, 2018 2:46 am

To John below.
Blame oxford dictionaries for the typo. It seems the English can’t give up their old ways. Some of them even use the archaic Fahrenheit.

michael hart
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 25, 2018 5:21 am

No numerate person in England uses the old definition of a billion (a million million), scientific or financial. I’m over 50 and grew up in the UK. I have never met a single person that uses that definition.

While there may be some scientific and engineering niches that continue with Imperial measurements, things like Fahrenheit were largely dropped around the time of decimalization of the currency at the beginning of the seventies: Most people now think in Celsius/Centigrade when the weather is discussed, though I can’t recall the exact dates when the TV weather forecasters switched.

Going to junior school at that time I was initially taught both inches and centimetres for length measurement and still tend to think in both. Of course, insisting that beer is still sold in pints has kept the tabloid newspapers in business for years as they frightened the electorate with stories that the Belgian Empire[*] was going to force us to change.

[*Many American readers may not be aware that much of the EU bureaucracy sits in Brussels, Belgium.]

Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 25, 2018 8:05 am

Beer should always be sold by the Imperial Pint. Any other measurement is a disgrace.

michael hart
Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 25, 2018 10:13 pm

When I moved to the States I discovered that buying beer by the pitcher can save a lot of time.

Reply to  Stephen Stent
September 27, 2018 8:26 am

Thank you, michael hart. You taught me something. I did not realize that the Brits were mostly using the “American definition” of “billion,” these days.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 5:10 am

A billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas is 1 million mcf of natural gas. 1 mcf = 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

In American English, 1 billion = 1,000 million = 1,000,000,000.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2018 6:45 am

In French and Russian, they use the term ” milliard” for North American billion.

Stewart Pid
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2018 7:22 am

I thought a millard was a duck 😉

Mark Green
Reply to  David Middleton
September 25, 2018 12:15 pm

I thought they used the word “fuktard”??

Dan Davis
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 9:38 am

Dave Burton – congratulations!
Search for “Döug Cöttön” on Google results on ONE entry – your post on WUWT.
Bad Words, indeed…

Reply to  Dan Davis
September 26, 2018 5:39 am

Even Google couldn’t concealthe WUWT page in that set of search results!

September 24, 2018 8:45 pm

Ruth Mottram 2016 DMI
Each year the ice sheet loses around 250 Gigatonnes of water. This is about 100 million Olympic sized swimming pools a year
Another way to think about the amount of water Greenland is currently adding to the oceans is that it roughly corresponds to about 4 litres per person per hour assuming that the human population is 7.4 billion people.
We assume in this calculation that each swimming pool is 25m wide, 50m long and 2 m deep and contains 2,500,000 litres of water.

+20 Gt of ice. Equals 4 million swimming pools a year gained
Please use official DMI measurements in future.

Reply to  angech
September 24, 2018 10:20 pm


Thank you for the constructive criticism.

bit chilly
Reply to  angech
September 25, 2018 9:24 am

ha ha. i have been arguing with an alarmist elsewhere on greenland ice sheet mass gain. they finally went quiet when i asked them to look at the numbers dmi provide for this year and last.

J Mac
September 24, 2018 8:50 pm

RE:“Greenland on average loses around 500 Gt of ice each year from calving and submarine melt processes…..”

This sounds like a estimated average. It does not tell us how much ice mass is lost in any given summer, making any calculations of annual mass gain or loss little better than a guess-timate as well.

Reply to  J Mac
September 25, 2018 7:14 am

Up until a couple of years ago they were monitoring the loss using GRACE following the demise of that satellite system they have not had data so their quote is the recent average. GRACE-FO is currently going through calibration etc. and is expected to resume service soon.

comment image?itok=8IOJucW0

Reply to  Phil.
September 25, 2018 1:54 pm

Definitely still just an estimated average, with or without GRACE. GRACE just improves the guess.

GRACE (may it Rest In Peace) didn’t measure ice. It measured only gravity.

When magma shifts as the Earth’s crust rises or sinks, perhaps due to changes in the loads upon it, if affects the Earth’s gravity field, just like ice accumulating or diminishing does. GRACE can’t tell the difference.

So the GRACE-based studies must adjust their gravity measurements to account for GIA/PGR.

Unfortunately, GIA/PGR under an ice sheet is not measurable. So they use model-derived estimates of what they think it probably should be.

Remember all those headlines about those GRACE studies reporting that Antarctica was losing a gazillion swimming pools of ice (in contrast to the IceSat studies which said it was gaining ice)? Well, I read somewhere that GRACE actually did not measure a declining Antarctic gravity field, from diminishing ice mass. It actually measured a (slightly) increasing gravity field. All of the ice mass loss “measured” by the GRACE studies was actually due to the calculated GIA adjustments. (“It’s models all the way down.”)

Altimetry-based studies of ice mass (e.g., from IceSat) also rely on model-derived GIA/PGR estimates, but since they deal with volume rather than mass, and rock is typically almost 3× as dense as ice, errors in GIA estimates distort GRACE-based ice mass calculations almost 3× as much as they distort altimetry-based estimates.

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 26, 2018 1:48 am

” Well, I read somewhere that GRACE actually did not measure a declining Antarctic gravity field, from diminishing ice mass. It actually measured a (slightly) increasing gravity field. ”

Not quite correct. The gravity field decreased very slightly, but the difference from zero was less than the uncertainty. So, yes, the mass loss is essentially all due to the GIA adjustment.

And to make things worse the GIA model used ICE-5G/6G has a very bad fit with the, admittedly few, actual GPS measurement points in Antarctica. There are other models with somewhat better fit, but they all result in less “ice loss”.

Reply to  tty
September 26, 2018 11:54 am

Thank you, tty!

Do you have a reference for that, perchance?

September 24, 2018 8:50 pm

John Tillman Missed your comment above
“Just imagine how many Hiroshimas of man-made global warming it would take to melt bits of the Greenland Ice Sheet. If it were to melt.
And how many Olympic swimming pools of water would be added to the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans as a result.”

Thanks to DMI we have both the volume of your swimming pool and estimates of SMB difference to swimming pools.

John Tillman
Reply to  angech
September 24, 2018 10:46 pm

angech September 24, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Glad to know that such a relatively puny unit of measurement isn’t beyond or below the pale for politically motivated measurement comparisons among the Climatariat.


September 24, 2018 8:54 pm

One would imagine that the more ice formed on Greenland the more available to break off in the melting season [with some slight overall gain] The interesting thing is that this acts as an extra dampener on melt which should help the ice extent spread further this year.

Reply to  angech
September 25, 2018 2:48 am

It takes a long time for an increased accumulation in central Greenland to show up as an advance at glacier tongues at the coast. Ice flows slowly.

Reply to  tty
September 25, 2018 5:14 am

The phrase “glacially slow” comes to mind… 😎

Nick Werner
Reply to  tty
September 25, 2018 7:54 am

Exactly (tty)… About fifty years elapsed before the wreckage of BSAA’s Star Dust began to emerge from the Tupungato Glacier, perhaps a kilometer or two from the 1947 crash site. My WAG is that the average distance between the Greenland Ice Sheet’s perimeter and its center is somewhere between a hundred and a thousand times greater.

September 24, 2018 9:45 pm

Uh oh

What can we do about it?
Should be emit some CO2?
Will that help?

Jim Giordano
Reply to  Chaamjamal
September 25, 2018 10:18 am

Methane is apparently more effective, and I am willing and able to emit living room sized volumes (living room clearing volumes) for the sake of our shared home! Just let me finish my lunch of chili with extra beans and I get right on it.

Peter Morris
September 24, 2018 10:54 pm

I still need it converted to metric bowls of cereal for that number to really be relevant in my life.

Dan Davis
Reply to  Peter Morris
September 25, 2018 10:08 am

That would be 109,876,543,210 BBC*

*Big Bowl Cereal ;>}

Reply to  Dan Davis
September 25, 2018 1:30 pm

How many Big Bowls to fill an Olympic sized pool?

September 24, 2018 11:32 pm

For the season 2016/2017 there is a final report available at DMI site:

“The 2016-17 season in the Arctic has in many ways been extraordinary. A snowy winter season and a comparably cold summer resulted in the Greenland Ice Sheet having benefitted from the season. The season has been less favourable with regard to sea ice, however, with ocean temperatures in some locations having been unusually high and more open water than normal for the period 1981-2010. Greenland experienced heavy precipitation – both rain and snow – during the autumn and winter months, in addition to which the summer – and thus the melting season – was short. The large quantities of snow, in particular in Southeast Greenland, also resulted in a very high albedo, which has meant that the whiter than average surface has been able to reflect more of the sun’s rays and thereby absorb less heat energy. [b]As a result, we have to go back to the 1980s and 1990s to find a comparable (slightly positive) surface mass balance[/b], i.e., the mass
balance of the ice sheet disregarding the effect of calving of icebergs. However, a single year must not be taken as evidence that the climate is on a more positive course with regard to the health of the Ice Sheet.”

Last year the preliminary report was already available on 12th of September (1), but this year it seems to be delayed. Maybe second year in a row with a positive mass balance needs more careful wording.


Reply to  MAK
September 25, 2018 2:08 pm

Thank you for that, MAK. The .pdf that it links to has a better-resolution graph than the one I used, too.

September 25, 2018 12:51 am

How many Manhattans is that?
Can we get it translated into Hiroshima’s, too?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Menicholas
September 25, 2018 9:55 am

Well all I know is it’s tee many martoonis to count.

Anthony Banton
September 25, 2018 1:08 am

“The 2018 hydrological year, or October 2017 to September 2018, has so far seen an unusually long period of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) conditions in the strongly-positive phase, indicating lower-than-average pressure over the North Atlantic. This drives warmer-than-average conditions over northwestern Europe and leads to heavy snowfall over eastern Greenland. ”

robert from oz
September 25, 2018 2:09 am

Whilst all seems ok up top down in Antarctica climate change is responsible for disappearing plant life ,the plants in question is moss and they are drying out .
Report was on OZ abc radio news and I thought it was attributed to the university of east Anglia.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  robert from oz
September 25, 2018 6:01 am

A completely dessicated campus…

Gary Pearse
Reply to  robert from oz
September 25, 2018 7:18 am

Robert of oz:This may be a secret code among conspirators! I think this whole mossy notion 8s drying out,too.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Gary Pearse
September 25, 2018 7:53 am

Gary, I suspect that the last thing told to teams leaving for Antarctica during their briefing is “If you can’t bring back news that it’s worse than we thought, don’t bother coming home. 😉

Olof R
September 25, 2018 2:12 am

I think the calving and submarine melt have been larger than 500 Gt in the recent years.
The latest (and final) GRACE data from JPL suggests that the total Greenland ice mass loss from June 2016 to June 2017 was around 250 Gt. The DMI surface accumulation charts suggest a balance of around +400 Gt for this period, so the total calving and submarine melt losses must be somewhere between 600-700 Gt.

Reply to  Olof R
September 25, 2018 3:10 am

And of that how much is attributable to geothermal activity, given recent papers finding evidence of it in fjords and inland affecting marine terminating glaciers and sub glacial dynamics.
To be credible the MSM needs to get real and begin reporting how the geology is possibly impacting Antarctica and Greenland contribution to SLR. Let’s see how the next IPCC covers it.

September 25, 2018 2:52 am

As far as I can see polar ice (and Greenland) serves no purpose other than as a means of measurement to perpetuate the loony alarmists belief in lemming like catastrophe.

Vast areas of the Northern Hemisphere would be released to agriculture if the average temperature rose by a few degrees and as I understand it, most of that warming would be confined to winter and night time temperatures in the N/H with minimal rise at the equator.

So sea level rises a few feet, big deal, serves humanity right for building expensive beachside/river estuary/riverside/flood plain properties and expecting them to stay there for ever. History is littered with instances of lost cities thanks to nature.

Not that sea levels would rise in one catastrophic tsunami, it would be a dribble spread out over thousands of years, more than enough time to adapt to it, so by my crude estimation, a net gain to humanity overall.

September 25, 2018 7:27 am

Your 2nd graph is showing 2018/2019, not 2017/2018

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Reply to  Marcos
September 25, 2018 2:21 pm

It shows 2017-2018 in brown, and the first few weeks of 2018-2019 in blue.

September 25, 2018 7:39 am

This is a more complete 2018 graph

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Reply to  Marcos
September 25, 2018 2:24 pm

That one is out-of-date and incomplete for 2017-18 (which runs from Sept. 1 2017 through Aug. 31 2018).

September 25, 2018 7:55 am

They also snuck this little tidbit in both the 2013 and 2014 “Seasonal Reports” that I have yet to see reported anywhere:

Addendum January 2015: A surprise in Greenland ice behavior, summer 2013

In 2013, the change in the land ice mass in Greenland derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) showed a very different behavior to that which had been observed since the launch of the satellites in 2002. This was originally interpreted as related to a possible degradation of the GRACE data, and it was not clear until late 2014 that this anomaly should likely be interpreted as something real. The data shows that between June 2013 and June 2014, Greenland had very little ice loss. Compared to an average annual loss of more than 250 Gigatonnes in the previous ten years, this is quite unusual. It is possibly a consequence of the extreme 2012 melt, the largest on record.

September 25, 2018 8:23 am

What is very funny about this post is that the entire DMI calculation and graphs of Greenland ice sheet mass balance is the output of a MODEL. Can anyone here tell me why when the output of a model aligns with one’s thinking, the model is good, and if the output of the model does not align (i.e. climate models) the model is bad?

Javert Chip
Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 8:58 am

Hell yea.

Your funding dries up if reality intrudes.


Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 9:12 am

To monitor the surface mass balance, we perform both actual measurements and computer simulations.
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Reply to  RobbCab
September 25, 2018 9:31 am

Exactly the same way “climate” is monitored, with both surface measurments and modeling.

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 9:37 am

The problems with climate surface measurements are well documented.

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 9:35 am

You know you are winning when your opponents have to lie about what you have said in order to make a point.

Very few people have ever taken that position that all models are bad.

Reply to  MarkW
September 25, 2018 2:33 pm

Over the years I’ve been gradually accumulating a glossary of climate-related terms. These are pasted from it.


A “computer model” (or just “model”) is a computer program which simulates (“models”) real processes for the purpose of predicting their progression. The utility and skillfulness of models is dependent on how well the processes which they model are understood, how faithfully those processes are simulated in the computer code, and whether the results can be repeatedly tested so that the models can be refined.

Specialized models, which try to model reasonably well-understood processes, like PGR and radiation transport, are useful, because the processes they model are manageably simple and well-understood. Weather forecasting models are also useful, even though the processes they model are very complex, because the models’ short-term predictions can be repeatedly tested, allowing the models to be validated and refined.

But more ambitious models, like GCMs, which attempt to simulate the combined effects of many poorly-understood processes, over time periods too long to allow repeated testing and refinement, are of dubious utility. (Worst of all are so-called “semi-empirical models,” which aren’t actually models at all.)


General Circulation Model, a large, complex computer program which attempts to simulate (“model”) the Earth’s climate.


So-called “semi-empirical modeling” is an oxymoron: “modeling” that doesn’t actually model anything. It is similar to modeling, but without reference to any physical basis. It is really just curve-matching. It can be made to produce just about any desired result.

GCMs are subject to criticisms that they don’t accurately model the real world, because of inconsistency with observations of things like clouds and the predicted tropical mid-tropospheric hot spot. Semi-empirical modelers neatly avoid such criticism, by not even trying to model the real world. It’s the worst sort of junk science.

Reply to  David Dirkse
September 25, 2018 1:49 pm

They continue to do the same work year after year depicting changes in the Arctic region/Greenland as they have done for 60 years or so. The alarmist storyline was that Greenland was going to melt away at an accelerating rate due to agw. Then, ironically, 4 years ago after DMI made the claim in 2014 that observed losses over the previou decade was around 200 Gt, the Greenland surface mass balance record then showd a move towards growth in each year after that. Plus the gain each year increased over the previous years gain. definitely a sea change underway, imo.

Jim Steele
September 25, 2018 8:38 am

I just used those 2 graphs as part of my panel discussion on California sea level rise last week to show the Coastal Commission’s predictions of 3 to 10 feet by 2100 is unsupported fear mongering. Greenland is not enduring runaway melting. It oscillates with the North Atlantic and Atlantic Multidecadal Ocillations. Claims that Greenland melting had contributed about 1.5 mm to sea level in 2012, should now be countered with this growing ice in Greenland has decelerated sea level rise.

But we will not see that. When there is heavy melt the alarmists push runaway sea level rise. When there is ice gain, crickets

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 25, 2018 12:17 pm

“It oscillates with the North Atlantic and Atlantic Multidecadal Ocillations.”

Except that doesn’t fit the data (regarding the direction of change at least).

Mass balance decreased at ~1965, just as the AMO witched to cold.
Came back up between ’70 to ’80 and stayed there (going higher) whilst the AMO remained cold.
One would expect an increasing mass balance in the warm phase due greater precip.

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(from: )

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I will give you that the NAO was -ve from the start of GRACE – 2002 until 2010 coinciding with the modern decrease BUT it’s been largely +ve since 2011.
(greater precipitation is to be expected in a +ve NAO phase).
Prior to that the NAO oscillates to chaotically for any conclusions re correlation.

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NB: I refer only to mass balance on the ice-sheet, and not to total balance due calving/melt as glaciers meet sea.

Phil Salmon
September 25, 2018 12:03 pm

Life expectancy stopped growing in the UK after 2015.

That’s bad – it’s still lower than in several countries.

One reason given was high numbers of flu and other winter deaths in the last three years.

It won’t be long before the MSM start blaming this on climate change.

Rising winter deaths. Hmm – I wonder what kind of climate change could be causing that?

John Tillman
September 25, 2018 1:53 pm

After the much ballyhooed Greenland ice sheet surface melt event of 2012, a buddy of mine predicted that all the ice would disappear in five years. Last year I refrained from reminding him of that forecast.

I told him it would take tens of thousands of years for the GIS completely to melt at the dreaded two degrees C higher temperature than today’s.

The GIS probably didn’t completely disappear even during MIS 11 between 424,000 and 374,000 years ago, probably the longest interglacial and at least among the hottest.

Opinions differ. My take is that the Southern Dome probably did melt during MIS 11, but much of the Northern Dome must have survived.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 2:10 pm

I should have said probably the longest since the mid-Pleistocene transition, which began about 1.25 Ma.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 26, 2018 2:04 am

Actually interglacials were shorter before the mid-Pleistocene transition.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 2:41 pm

According to PBS Newshour, 90% of the Greenland ice mass already thawed in just one month.


While forests and grasslands burned, the Arctic melted. Greenland’s ice sheet melted at a faster rate than scientists had ever observed, with 90 percent of the mass thawing in July.

John Tillman
Reply to  Dave Burton
September 25, 2018 2:53 pm


The link to the alleged source in the article doesn’t work.

Hard for me to imagine what thawing of 90% the GIS’ mass in July could mean.

Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 4:23 pm

It could mean that of the total melting for the year 90% of it occurred in July.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
September 25, 2018 4:25 pm


Yes, that must be it, since it references the rate of thaw.


Reply to  John Tillman
September 26, 2018 8:00 am

It is odd that the link didn’t work for you, John. It still works for me.

Anyhow, Google will find it for you; just search for the quoted text, like this.

What it means is that when PBS NewsHour needed to hire a “Reporter/Producer on Science and Climate Change,” they chose a young girl with a fresh BA degree in Film Studies, and an emphasis on Feminist Criticism. Her senior honors thesis at UNL was entitled, “Unzipping Gender: Gender Stereotypes, Identity, and Power.”

She’s probably the best PBS could do. They probably couldn’t find a science & climate change reporter/producer who knew any actual science, and yet was sufficiently worried about global warming to qualify for the position. And pretty enough.

Perhaps she doesn’t know what the word “mass” means, and doesn’t know how it is different from “surface area,” but inserted the word mass because it sounds “sciencey.” Or maybe she really thought that 90% of the ice mass had melted. Who knows?

If 90% of Greenland’s ice mass had actually melted, the oceans would have risen about 18 feet. The correct percentage was less than 0.01%. But the story is still on the PBS web site, 5½ years later, still uncorrected. Apparently none of their editors has ever realized there was anything wrong with it.

Here’s an excerpt from another PBS report, the same day, on the same subject:

“On July 8, 40 percent of the ice sheet had thawed. By July 12, the number had shot up to 97 percent. Any single day in July might see a quarter of the ice sheet experience melt, and about half of the sheet usually melts over the full month, Mote said. This year, 90 percent of the ice sheet melted on July 11 alone.”

Apparently, either Pretty Young Thing got her “90 percent” figure from that report, or they both got it from the same source.

Here’s a map, illustrating the “90 percent,” on the blog site of climate propagandist “Robert Scribbler” (a/k/a science fiction writer Robert Marston Fanney):

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As you can see, the Greenland “melting” percentage was supposedly surface area. However, even that was grossly exaggerated. It was calculated by counting surface area “grid elements,” mapped by satellite, which were thought to contain some meltwater within the grid block: transient puddles, ponds, lakes, and streams of liquid water, on the ice sheet.

But that doesn’t mean that 90% of the area was actually covered with liquid water. Even in the dark red “melted” areas, most of the surface was still actually solid ice. You can see that in this photo of a particularly large lake on the ice sheet:

PBS subsequently reported that their Reporter/Producer on Science and Climate Change (a/k/a feminist film critic) is a “STEM Superstar.”

Brought to you by PBS — the same folks who assure us that “it’s okay to be smart.”

Reply to  Dave Burton
September 26, 2018 2:16 am

That is a quite beautiful piece of lying by what you don’t tell.

Normally melting of the icecap starts the last week in May and continues until late August. This year it didn’t start until almost midsummer and ended by mid-August. So, yes, 90% of the (small) melt was probably in July.

So how about “the fastest rate observed”? Well, not exactly a lie. If you look at the DMI chart you will notice that the melt for a single day in late July was actually the highest recorded for that particular date:

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Reply to  John Tillman
September 26, 2018 2:02 am

Studies of IRD (ice-rafted debris) off the East Coast strongly indicate that the northern and southern dome separated during MIS 11, but that the southern dome probably did not melt completely since some IRD from southernmost Greenland occurs throughout MIS 11, but not IRD from the “saddle area”:

The northern dome apparently has not melted for about 2.5 million years.

Pamela Gray
September 25, 2018 5:57 pm

Must be due to all that liberal hot air adding weight to the ice.

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